Black British music’s past, present and future to be explored in BMRU symposium

The past, present and future of Black British music is set to be explored at a new symposium organised by the University of Westminister's Black Music Research Unit (BMRU).

Taking place on 12th July at the British Library Knowledge Centre Pigott Theatre, Black British Music: Past, Present and Futures "will trace the geographic landmarks and cultures that have contributed to the evolution of Black British genres so far, while also exploring emerging trends and topics such as gender," according to a press release.

Ivor Novello-winning singer, songwriter, and composer Michelle Escoffery, president of the PRS Members' Council, will deliver a keynote session on being a Black woman in music and the "wider challenges facing Black British artists".

Elsewhere, other speakers include the Black queer feminist DJ and ethnomusicologist Dr E Falade, and R&B/jazz singer Estée Blu as well as cultural historian Dr Holly-Gale Millette.

The symposium forms part of the British Library's current exhibition Beyond the Bassline, which runs until 26th August and celebrates 500 years of Black music in Britain, curated by Dr Aleema Gray at the British Library in partnership with the University of Westminster’s Mykaell Riley.

“The Beyond the Bassline exhibition, known for its groundbreaking approach, was inspired by BMRU research, so it’s only fitting for the British Library to host our first annual symposium. This conference will distinctively highlight early-career female researchers with a focus on black British music," says Riley.

Pick up tickets for the symposium here, which runs from 10am to 6pm on the 12th July.